Talk about getting out of a funk.
Entering play on Friday with a sluggish 0-3 mark, the Northview Knights looked like a powerhouse with a 63-19 pounding of conference rival Sullivan to earn their first victory of the year.
The rout started early. After losing on a late punt return last week, the Knights got some redemption for that heartbreaking defeat, as Drake Stevenson fielded a rolling punt and raced 55 yards for the game's first score.
After that the Knights offense took over, scoring an astonishing 49 first half points with one methodical drive after another, with a balanced attack of the run and pass.
Trent Lancaster led the attack going 11-of-16 for 137 yards and a touchdown pass to wideout Zach Boetjer.
The running game was powered by a dominant performance by Weslie Sorlie.
Sorlie took his first handoff 51 yards for a touchdown and didn't let up. He gored the Golden Arrows for 120 yards on just seven carries and scored three touchdowns. Coach George Gettle said a balanced offensive attack was critical for his team to maintain a high level of success.
"We always try to be balanced," Gettle said. "It's always helpful to get everyone spread out and open up our offense."
The defense was just as dominant, forcing four turnovers and collecting two sacks of Sullivan quarterback Vance Bedwell.
The first string unit rested for most of the second half with the Knights out in front by such a decisive margin. They only allowed the Golden Arrows into Northview territory once in the first half, when running back Dakota Hiatt broke loose for a 63-yard touchdown. Hiatt was a rare bright spot for Sullivan rushing for 147 yards on 17 carries.
After allowing two late scores, senior Matt Clodfelter slammed the door shut on a dominant performance, scooping up a fumble and racing 58 yards for a touchdown, and followed that play up with an interception of Bedwell with 10 seconds remaining.
After a gut wrenching loss to Terre Haute North last week, the Knights rose to the occasion against winless Sullivan earning a much needed conference victory. Gettle said he was thrilled to see his team play at such a high level, and that he would do everything he could to make sure his team was prepared to play at a high level for the remainder of the season.
"We needed this as bad as anybody," Gettle said. "Every time you win you get a little better and more confident. I hope we can build on this and try to get better the rest of the season."
The Knights return to action next week with a Western Indiana Conference game at Owen Valley.
Northview 63 Sullivan 19
Sullivan 0 6 7 6 -21
Northview 21 28 7 7 -63
NV- Drake Stevenson 55 yard punt return (Ken Wright kick) 9:14
NV- Weslie Sorlie 51 yard run (Wright kick) 6:41
NV- Weslie Sorlie 7 yard run (Wright kick) 2:36
NV- Zach Boetjer 11 yard pass from Drake Stevenson (Wright kick) 10:02
S- Dakota Hiatt 63 yard run (Kick failed) 9:46
NV- Drake Stevenson 17 yard run (Wright kick) 8:40
NV- Weslie Sorlie 6 yard run (Wright kick) 5:35
NV- Tyler Trout 4 yard run (Wright kick) 1:12
NV- Sean Hauser 48 yard run (Wright kick)
S- Dalton Hiatt 21 yard pass from Vance Bedwell (Tyler Cox kick)
S- Vance Bedwell 2 yard run (Kick failed)
NV- Matt Clodfelter 58 yard fumble return (Wright kick)
Rushing- Sullivan: D. Hiatt 17-147 TD, Cox 6-32, Simpson 1-4, Bedwell 8-2 TD
Northview- Sorlie 7-120 3 TD, Hauser 6-73 TD, Lancaster 11-51 TD, Baker 2-28, Trout 10-9 TD
Passing- Sullivan: 8-21 84 TD 2 INT, Girton 0-1 0 INT Northview: Lancaster 11-16 137 TD, Trout 0-3 0 INT
Receiving- Sullivan: Dal Hiatt 5-63 TD, Smith 2-22, Dak Hiatt 1--1 Northview: Stevenson 3-51, Niehaus 4-44, Rector 2-18, Boetjer 1-11 TD, McGuffin 1-8